Fritz Noether

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Fritz Noether
Fritz noether.jpg
Born (1884-10-07)October 7, 1884
Erlangen, German Empire
Died September 10, 1941(1941-09-10) (aged 56)
Oryol, Russian SFSR
Alma mater University of Munich
Spouse(s) Regine (died 1935)
Children Gottfried, Hermann
Scientific career
Thesis Über rollende Bewegung einer Kugel auf Rotationsflächen (1909)
Doctoral advisor Aurel Edmund Voß (de)
Doctoral students Helmut Heinrich (de)
Left to right: Herrmann, Fritz, and Regine Noether, Lotte and Gottfried Heisig; about 1930/1 in the Krkonoše.

Fritz Alexander Ernst Noether (October 7, 1884 – September 10, 1941) was a German-born mathematician.


Fritz Noether's father Max Noether was a mathematician and professor in Erlangen. The notable mathematician Emmy Noether was his elder sister; his oldest son was chemist, Herman D. Noether and his second son was mathematician Gottfried Noether.

Fritz Noether was also an able mathematician. Not allowed to work in Nazi Germany for being a Jew, he moved to the Soviet Union, where he was appointed to a professorship at the University of Tomsk. In November 1937, during the Great Purge, he was arrested at his home in Tomsk by the NKVD and sentenced to 25-years imprisonment for being a "German spy". While in prison, he was accused of "anti-Soviet propaganda", sentenced to death, and shot.

After World War II, his eldest son, Dr. Herman D. Noether tried innumerable times to learn what had happened to his father. Finally, after appealing to Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev, under glasnost, the truth was learned. In a letter from the USSR Embassy, the Soviet Government reported that: "On 22 Dec 1988, the Plenum of the USSR Supreme Court passed a decree No. 308-88 which determined that Professor Fritz M. Noether had been convicted on groundless charges and voided his sentence, thus fully rehabilitating him." On October 23, 1938 Professor Noether had been found guilty of allegedly spying for Germany and committing acts of sabotage and was sentenced in Novosibirsk to 25 years of imprisonment. He served time in different prisons. On September 8, 1941 the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court sentenced Professor F. Noether to death on the accusation of engaging in anti-Soviet agitation. He was shot in Orel on September 10, 1941. His burial place is unknown but there is a memorial plaque in the Gengenbach Cemetery, Germany at the site of his wife's grave.

Another son, Gottfried E. Noether, an American statistician and educator, wrote a brief biography of his father Fritz.

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